In a fully realistic medieval setting, each player would keep track of every gold and copper piece. While this might not prove to onerous for some, it is not a viable option for those who might have a noble background or others who have lives in the mundane world. The following rules are meant to simulate the social and game effects of income and consumption without forcing players and DM to count out the small change.
The life of an adventurer is one of easy come, easy go. They are quick to earn money when they find a treasure trove, but they tend to be quick to loose it too, whether that be because of thieves, taxes, magical upkeep, or high stakes gambling losses–the point is they live life larger than the average person on the street.
A character’s background determines their starting lifestyle and assuming that they continue to adventure and/or return to that background they maintain that lifestyle. If other characters in the party are living in lifestyles 2 or more levels higher they can choose to bump up one lifestyle for free. This increase is temporary, but if you stay at the increased lifestyle for 3 sessions in a row then it becomes permanent.
If a character wishes to raise their lifestyle level and there isn’t anyone 2 or more levels higher in the party, they can make a level check on a d20 (roll less then their level on a d20). If they succeed, then they raise their lifestyle one level. This increase is only temporary (duration of the session), but if the character succeeds 3 times in a row then it becomes permanent.
Characters can always choose to lower themselves to a lower lifestyle. This is temporary, but if maintained for 3 sessions then becomes permanent as well. (An alternate persona, such as a disguise, that presents itself as coming from a different lifestyle does not cause this lowering of lifestyle.)
After character creation, you can purchase anything from the equipment lists that has a cost equal to the monthly lifestyle cost for your lifestyle as a trivial check. Buying a pair of items is easy, up to 5 items is moderate, a dozen is hard, 2 dozen is very hard, 50 is formidable, 100 is near impossible; adding time (such as a week, then month, then year) reduces the time by one category for each time increment. If you are in a village or smaller location the check for multiple items goes up one rank (a pair is moderate, 5 items is hard, etc.); if you are in a metropolis, the check for multiple items goes down one rank (a pair is trivial, 5 items is easy, a dozen is moderate, 500 is near impossible).
You can double the value of an item by moving up on the difficulty check one rank, triple – two ranks, etc.
Thus a Poor lifestyle has a DC of 5 to purchase anything 6 gp or less, DC 10 for 12 gp or less, DC 15 for 18 or less, DC 20 for 24 gp or less; whereas a Modest lifestyle has a DC of 5 to purchase anything 30 gp or less, DC 10 for 60 gp or less, DC 15 for 90 gp or less, DC 20 for 120 gp or less, etc.
You can try to purchase an item(s) once per session. Individuals can make separate checks to purchase the same item, but once one person fails a check, no one else can check for that item that session.
Treasure will be awarded in the following manner. It will only be magical and/or it will be one time bonuses to purchase DC rolls.
|Squalid||30 sp/3 gp|
|Poor||60 sp/6 gp|